Poetry Moves

October 10, 2019

It’s impressive when a public poetry project carries on year after year. Conducted annually since 2006, the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest can certainly be counted as an ongoing success. So can Poetry Moves, in Clark County, Washington. We’ve mentioned Poetry Moves before. Placing placards with winning poems in Clark County buses, the project highlights the work of student and adult poets in alternate years and is now accepting submissions from Southwest Washington residents for season 9. See more, including lists of past winners and sample poems, on the website of Artstra, a nonprofit arts advocacy group in southwest Washington.

Each of the 25 winning poems in the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is illustrated with flair and care by one of four artists. The resulting placards are displayed in Whatcom Transportation Authority buses for a full year and also posted on this site (at, alas, a substantially reduced size). The Contest is very fortunate to have artists who continue to do this fine work year after year. We are pleased to introduce them again here for 2019, in their own words:

Angela Boyle
As a cartoonist and natural science illustrator, I like to blend my passions together into both nonfiction and science fiction comics. My focus is the natural world: the plants and animals we can see and interact with, or at least potentially interact with. It is not surprising that I focus on nature. I have always been surrounded by animals. Two weeks before I was born, my parents’ borzoi, Domino, birthed a litter. They were so busy raising me, they never really got around to selling the puppies as intended. Then with my brother coming along, we all moved out to the country. They bought a house (it came with a cow!) and quickly filled the land with horses, a pony, chickens, turkeys, and other animals. Even without the added domestic animals, I was playing with frogs and raising the tadpoles from our pond. And I was drawing and writing and reading. And I am still drawing, writing, and reading. I draw comics, which you can get on Storeenvy, and paint nature, which you can get on mugs and pillows from Society 6. And I am reading/researching Maria Sibylla Merian and the late 1600s in preparation for a graphic novel biography. You can follow my research on Patreon. I have a sci-fi comic on tumblr and an autobio comic on tumblr. My general social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram) is angelabcomics, and my personal website is angelaboyle.flyingdodostudio.com, which has links to everything, including many more comics. I am also a freelance editor, illustrator, and designer: publication.flyingdodostudio.com. Photo Copyright Abe Olson.

Megan Carroll
I once told my husband that making art was not an option, it was a need. I have to make art, I have to use my hands. I believe in craftsmanship. I research every single one of my ideas, draw several sketches, collect images, words and doodles. I throw out several ideas and save what I think are the very best ones. As an artist I collaborate with those around me, seeking feedback and critique. My illustrations have a minimalist style that leans heavily on mark making. I love strong lines that create a visual impact using simple repetitive shapes. I would describe myself as a mixed media artist as my current works are digital, surface and pattern design, illustration, fabric, and clay. I received my BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and I have made my home in Bellingham for the last 6 years. You can buy my prints, including the ones inspired by the poems in this contest, on Society6, or my handmade goods at Scrappy Carp Living on Etsy.

Christian Anne Smith
I like to tell stories with art. I love garish and fantastical characters. I enjoy human beings and my art explores stories of human emotion as well as my passion for costumes, colors, textures, and intriguing environments. Growing up on the coast of Maine, I was surrounded by stories and images of the region’s folklore. Seilkies, Mermaids, Ghosts, and Pirates were all believably real entities to me. My childhood fascination with monsters and supernatural beings continues and influences the way I choose to portray people. I also have a need to express with my art. I become inspired, and have worked hard to train myself to go into a sort of a trance that allows what’s inside to come out. It’s only later that I can look with any objectivity on something that I’ve created and perhaps get a glimpse of what I was feeling or thinking. It is akin to the way one might analyze a dream. I may start a painting or puppet with a certain image in mind, but I allow the original image to change or even get completely painted over whenever I start to see new things. I am often quite confused about how I am feeling until after I paint, draw, or build things and the truth comes to the surface. This is the way I best communicate with myself. In this way I suppose nearly all my paintings are also portraits of my life. Thank you for your interest in my work. I hope that the world I have created sparks your own imagination and provokes many hours of daydream in the years to come.

Kimberly Wulfestieg
is a paper cutting, rainbow loving, poetry flowing mother and teacher. Originally from Northern California, she made her way to Bellingham seven years ago and never passes a mountain, lake, flower, or tree, without a deep breath and an appreciation for its beauty. A self-taught artist, she has always been enamored with the color and texture of paper and collage. She employs a wide array of colored papers, scissors, scalpels, knives, and glue, and uses them in conjunction with details and patience. She runs the Natural Learning Center in Bellingham and loves to share her joy of art and words with the children she works with. Also known as K. Wulfe, more of her work can be seen on Facebook at K. Wulfe and followed on Instagram @kimwulfy.

meanwhile, in Nashville…

December 29, 2018

The Poetry in Motion® program was launched in 1992 by the Poetry Society of America (PSA) and “is today one of the most popular public literary programs in American history.” We’ve mentioned it here before.

In most cities, winning poems appear on placards that are posted inside the buses. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Music City competition solicits poems of 25 words or less and the winning words are printed on the outside of the bus (as well as on placards, fare cards, and bus shelters). Fun!

If you are planning a trip to Manhattan, schedule a visit to the Transit Museum at Grand Central Terminal to see Poetry in Motion at 25. The exhibit celebrates 25 years of poetry displayed on subways and buses and features a broad range of the original Poetry in Motion car cards that have appeared in the New York City Transit system. See it by October 28, 2018.

More about Poetry in Motion here.

We like to make note of places where poetry finds an unexpected audience and here’s one from Perth and Kinross, Scotland. Platform 2018 is a contemporary arts festival in its second year, which offers a week of exhibitions, performances, music, talks, and workshops, March 24-31, 2018. Into that substantial mix comes Perth poet Jim Mackintosh, PLATFORM Poet in Residence, who will visit

all the Festival events to tease out collaborations and create new work to be published during the Festival via a daily diary blog / Twitter / Instagram with the odd photograph and video along the way.

He will also be travelling the bus routes of Perth and Perthshire to engage with passengers, bus staff and anyone impacted by the bus routes to pen some new poems but importantly to encourage people to pen their own poems based on their travels and using text, e-mail, scraps of paper persuade them to submit their words so they can be pulled together and displayed or even published later in the year.

Mr. Mackintosh was previously named Club Poet for the St. Johnstone Saints, a professional Scottish football club. For a taste of what bus riders might hear, watch Mackintosh read his poem “Mind The Time” on YouTube.

“Poetry Rides the Bus”

February 12, 2018

Bus riders in Olympia, Washington, will now have a chance to enjoy poetry on their journey, thanks to Poetry Rides the Bus.” The project, coordinated by Olympia’s First Poet Laureate, Amy Solomon-Minarchi, received more than 120 submissions, from which 22 were selected for posting in buses and bus shelters around the city.

. . . . .
photo by Jeff Chew

poetry party

April 14, 2017

Join the poets for the launch of a new round of Poetry on Buses — the King County program that puts poems on buses, light rail and streetcars throughout the county for the next year. The official launch party will be Monday, April 24, 2017, at the Moore Theatre in Seattle. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:30pm. It’s free.

Also starting on April 24, you can visit the Poetry on Buses website to view a new poem each day.

All aboard, King County

September 6, 2016

Poetry on BusesIf you are a King County, Washington, resident, you are encouraged to submit a poem for the next round of Poetry on Buses. 365 poems will be selected for online publication and some of those will be featured in King County Metro and Sound Transit buses, trains and stations in 2017.

The deadline is Friday, September 30, 2016, 11:59pm PDT. The theme is “Your Body of Water” and the length is a maximum of 50 words, not including the title. See the complete guidelines on the Poetry on Buses website.

roll on, Vancouver!

July 6, 2016

poetrymoves

This is a follow-up to a January post about a poetry-on-the-bus program in Vancouver, Washington. A celebration over the holiday weekend marked the launch of the second round of poems — a selection of student work submitted by participants in Clark County’s Poets in the Schools program.

Spearheaded by Vancouver poet laureate Christopher Luna, this phase of Poetry Moves features the work of ten young poets. The poems will circulate on C-Tran buses through December 2016. For details and photos, see “Poetry Moves: Young poets’ works adorn C-Tran buses” in The Columbian and “Poetry Moves Phase Two Begins July 3 with students from the Poets in the Schools Program” on Printed Matter Vancouver.

. . . . .
poetrymoves logo

Poetry on Buses Heads up, King County (Washington) poets: Poetry on Buses will be headed your way soon. The 2014/15 program accepted 365 poems, which were posted inside Metro Transit buses and published online. (You can still read them on the Poetry on Buses site.)

The 2016/17 project, directed by Poet Planner Jourdan Imani Keith, anticipates accepting an equal number of poems and encourages King County writers of all ages, all levels of experience and all languages to submit their work on the theme “Your Body of Water.”

“We are all bodies of water, connected to one another through the water web. Your body of water is connected to streams, rivers, lakes, tides, waterfalls, toilets and faucets, to present homes, childhood homes and ancestral ones by memory, by the water cycle, by stories. Come, tell your story through poetry.”

Submissions will be accepted May 15 – September 30, 2016, and along with buses and online viewing, this year’s winning poems will also be seen inside Sound Transit trains. Watch for updates on the Poetry on Buses website or sign up for email updates. Meanwhile, Poetry on Buses is hosting a series of free, bilingual community poetry workshops in King County starting May 1 and running through September.

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